If you are a football fan, you may not know Troy Cole by name, but you know his work, especially on the feet of some of the game’s greatest stars. Cole, also known as “Kickasso” rose to fame by designing many of the cause related cleats for NFL players big and small last year, as the league created the “My cleats, my cause” initiative that gave players one week where they could use their feet for social causes. It was a great success, and Cole has continued to break out to find new and innovative ways in storytelling.
The latest was unveiled this week when he took the fast rising disruptive protective pad brand XTECH, and designed a set of shoulder pads that reflected the athletes, the teams and the brands that the company has worked with on the way to their five year anniversary.
XTECH, for those who don’t know use their cutting edge, patented technology to design pads which enhance performance while optimizing safety. Through an exclusive partnership with XRD Foam, they can provide unmatched protection while being lightweight, breathable, flexible, water-resistant and comfortable for players from the pee-wees to the pros and have drawn work from a majority of NFL equipment managers for players ranging from Eli Manning and Von Miller to Mohamed Sanu and new NFL draftee Ryan Anderson. Elite high schools and colleges have also come on board in the past 18 months, making the New Jersey based startup a major player with technology that hadn’t changed in over 30 years. So the disruptive brand met the disruptive artist.
“This project was a great challenge. I’m thankful that Bob and XTECH trusted me to tell their story. I call it the ‘Roadmap To Success.’ Once I saw how really protective the pads are and how much the players love them I knew I had to be a part of this awesome project,” Cole added in a release.
“Our journey in the use of our proprietary technology to keep athletes safe has been quite unique, especially in the last 18 months as the company has seen rapid growth, expansion and national media recognition, and this custom pad project symbolizes the people who have helped and the places we have been, with more to come,” added XTECH cofounder Bob Broderick. “The inbound requests we get from athletes and coaches wanting to know more has really been astounding, and myself and my partner Ted Monica are certainly grateful and look forward to continuing to grow and expand our business on all levels.”
While the pads probably won’t see the light of day on an NFL sideline, the brand continues to gain buzz, and the street cred of a hot designer certainly won’t hirt that, as the pads hot social media.
So what’s next Kickasso? Jocks? Batting Helmets? The canvas for equipment is endless.